What Is Topological Data Analysis?

Topological data analysis is a concept found in applied mathematics. This approach uses a general framework to explore information from datasets, even when it is incomplete, high-dimensional, or noisy.

It inherits functoriality from its topological nature, allowing it to adapt to new mathematical tools. 

In other words, topological data analysis augments other analysis forms, such as geometric approaches. That’s why it is useful to data scientists who need a better understanding of what their information contains. 

What Is the Basic Theory of Topological Data Analysis?

Topological data analysis is based on the idea that data shapes contain relevant information. Since actual high-dimensional info is sparse and tends to have low-dimensional features, this technique delivers a precise characterization of the facts.

With topological data analysis, users also get the tools need to detect and quantify recurrent motion within different equations.

Think of it as a type of math that concerns itself with continuous objects. It doesn’t care about shapes or sizes – only continuity. You’re focusing on how things connect to explore where gaps could be present. 

Imagine that you’re putting up Christmas lights on your home. You’d think about the logistics of doing the work, the geometric shape of the installation, or the utility statistics to know how much it’ll cost. 

Topological data analysis ignores the spatial features of the lights, such as the distance between bulbs, to focus on the connectivity. That information lets us have a greater understanding of what could be missing from an equation.

This introductory video covers the basics of this concept nicely. 

Fifty Years Ago, Disney World Resort Opened

Disney World opened on October 1, 1971. This park’s development would change the orange groves that used to be there, the city of Orlando, and even Florida itself.

Even after 50 years of service, Disney World serves as a significant drive in world travel and tourism. People brave the hurricanes, alligators, and crocodiles to enjoy a good time in this magical place. 

The Magic Kingdom was the first theme park to open, along with a couple of golf courses. Since then, Animal Kingdom, Epcot, and Hollywood Studios have been added to the experience. Blizzard Beach and Typhoon Lagoon were included in the 1990s.

Disney World Leads in Ride Innovation

Even those Disney World is the younger sibling of Disneyland, it’s led the industry in numerous areas. From resort development to ride design, many of the elements of modern theme parks globally got their start in Florida.

Everyone who visits Disney World comes away from the experience with a favorite ride. It might be a classic option like Pirates of the Caribbean, but something newer, such as the Avatar Flight of Passage, delivers a big draw. 

You can still take a ride on the original Dumbo attraction that was with the park since its opening. Space Mountain was added in 1975, setting a new standard for coasters.

Who can forget the signature structure of the park, which is Cinderella’s Castle? It’s also been there from the beginning, although it’s had some makeovers over the years.

Disney continues to deliver fun opportunities for families of all sizes. Here’s to another 50 years!

Two Million American Teens Still Use E-Cigarettes

A national survey found that two million teens in the U.S. continue to use e-cigarettes. About 25% of them are vaping daily. 

Since many high school and middle school students stayed home in 2020 because of the pandemic, it was much easier for them to find and use those devices.

For that reason, some critics suggest the data is comparable to previous years. The fact that youth choose these unsafe products at their age is still a dangerous behavior we must address.

85% of Students Say They Use Flavored Vapes

Anti-tobacco groups have pressed the Food and Drug Administration to ban all flavored vaping products. 

Many teens and adolescents say they prefer the mint, fruit, and candy flavors when they choose to vape. About 85% of students who admitted to this behavior noted that those items were their preferred products.

What makes matters worse in this area is that Puff Bar, which is the preferred brand for young users, says it will manufacture its products with synthetic nicotine. The goal of that choice is to avoid government oversight.

Although most officials agree that vaping and smoking are at least equally bad for teens and youth, the FDA continues to delay its decision on how to regulate those products. E-cigarettes have never been given an official green light, yet they’ve been sold for years. It wasn’t until 2016 when they even came under regulation. Inhaling particles and vapors foreign to the respiratory system is a cause for concern.

If you’re trying to recover from vaping or smoking addictions, a product from Pharmax might help. When your focus is on respiratory care, each day may help you breathe a little easier. 

Six-Week Abortion Law Passes in Texas

Governor Greg Abbot signed into law a controversial bill that implemented one of the strictest abortion bans in the country. Its unique structure is what makes it the target of critics, allowing anyone to sue people who pursue this procedure or those who help them. 

Almost any private citizen can sue for awards of up to $10,000 or more as a means of enforcing the ban.

This option creates an environment where neighbors or family members could sue each other even if they suspect an abortion was committed. There doesn’t need to be any compelling evidence to initiate the lawsuit.

Since the Supreme Court refused to take up the case, it was implemented into law over the summer. 

The Bill Bans Abortions When an Ultrasound Detects a Heartbeat

Although the Texas abortion ban is reported to limit procedures to six weeks, the actual text says that an ultrasound cannot detect a heartbeat. It’s a misleading requirement since embryos don’t possess a heart during that developmental stage.

The only exception to the ban is if the mother or fetus experiences a medical emergency. It includes cases where a woman was impregnated because of incest or rape. 

Since it isn’t up to the government to enforce the law, proponents hope that it can withstand legal challenges. In October, a federal judge ruled against it, but that didn’t start procedures again because people feared that lawsuits could be retroactive.

In the meantime, women are traveling out of state to receive medical care because of the law. That’s the only way to avoid the potential lawsuit issue. 

Amazon Plans 55,000 Jobs in Expansion Push

Chief Executive Officer Andy Jassy told Reuters that Amazon plans to hire up to 55,000 people in technology and corporate roles globally. That figure is almost equal to Facebook’s entire staffing and represents one-third of Google’s current workforce.

Jassy released this news during his first press interview after becoming Amazon’s CEO in July 2021. The company’s new bet on launching satellites into orbit, currently called Project Kuiper, is expected to generate even more opportunities.

Since the pandemic has altered or displaced numerous employment opportunities, many people are thinking about pursuing new or different jobs. The new hires will eventually represent a 20% increase in those staffing areas.

What Is It Like to Work for Amazon?

When looking for employee reviews of what it is like to work for Amazon, Indeed has 75,000+ submissions that deliver a 3.5-star rating. 

Amazon receives the highest scores in pay and benefits, while the lowest ones are in management and job security. 

Most people like that Amazon helps them have a clear sense of purpose with their work. They celebrate the ability to meet personal goals while offering a fair compensation package. If you’re not motivated or have some health issues, many of the jobs could be a bit problematic.

The problem with an Amazon job is that the company doesn’t always deliver a sense of belonging. That issue leads to a lack of trust within the ranks, especially since people report that they don’t receive a lot of manager-based support. 

With many jobs offering wages well above the minimum, this growth opportunity could deliver significant economic contributions in the places where jobs get offered. 

7-Day COVID Average Exceeds 2020 Summer Peak

You’ve done everything right when dealing with COVID. When it was time to isolate, you took care of things without complaining. You are wearing your mask, getting vaccinated, and eating right.

You might even be using products from Core Med Science, like Liposomal Vitamin C and Liposomal Glutathione to boost your immune system.

Despite all those efforts, the Delta variant caused a higher 7-day COVID average in 2021 than we experienced during the summer peak in 2020.

Figures Topped 72,790 Cases Per Day in August 2021

At the height of the 2020 pandemic months, the United States averaged about 69,000 new cases per day. In 2021, that number rose to almost 73,000 cases.

Although the daily average quickly dropped from 72,790 to 68,326 in the rolling average, the peak number shows how problematic the Delta variant is for the unvaccinated population. 

Johns Hopkins disagrees with the data, showing that the seven-day average rose to nearly 80,000 in August.

What is even more remarkable about the numbers is that Texas and Florida were responsible for one-third of the new cases. 

High Case Numbers Create Few Open ICU Beds

The United States has about 80,000 staffed ICU beds in hospitals around the country. Although the spikes in COVID cases have caused local or regional shortages, the overall availability has remained relatively consistent since August 2020.

The majority of ICU beds are occupied by non-COVID patients.

Although a spike in January 2021 and another in September altered the ratio, the national availability was still viable.

What does that mean for someone who is sick? They’ll need to go elsewhere if every ICU bed is occupied. In a life-threatening situation, there might not be time to get that individual care.

That’s why it is up to all of us to do our part to stay safe and healthy. 

A $15 Salad: Why Do New Yorkers Pay So Much?

How much would you pay for a salad?

Many Americans can get a gourmet-style salad with all the toppings they went for about $12. Even a gorgeous Caesar salad at Panera with chicken retails for $10.39 in 2021.

Why is it that New Yorkers are willing to shell out $15 for a takeaway salad that you can eat at your desk?

You might have heard about NYC’s bodega culture, but it is the city’s salad culture that can be hit or miss. If you can yell your order at your favorite spot, you can grab a decent meal for $15. When you don’t get that chance, you might be eating a sad bowl of Romaine for the same price. 

Food Trends Often Start in New York City

Before pasta primavera became popular as a go-to home meal, NYC restaurants were serving it left and right in the 1980s.

It wasn’t until the 1990s, when NYC streamlined the idea of sushi, that it became a popular trend in several countries.

Who can forget the cupcake craziness that happened after Sex and the City?

The newest trend for New Yorkers is the takeaway salad place. If you can find the right spot, different chains offer a customized meal that you can pick up for a fair price. Everything from roasted shrimp to quinoa is on the menu. 

Since salads are considered healthy, at least based on what you put into it, choosing one feels like a better option than a massive burger.

If anything, you could say New Yorkers pay $15 to avoid offending their coworkers. With people returning to the office after Covid, that’s not a bad approach to take.

We Eat 46 Million Turkeys Each Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is the holiday we see as the kickoff to the winter season. It opens the door to all the December events while celebrating the success of the latest harvest.

Globally, over 46 million turkeys get eaten each Thanksgiving.

The feast doesn’t stop with the turkey. In total, the average American consumes about 3,100 calories when they eat a traditional Thanksgiving meal. That figure includes 150g of fat. 

Those figures don’t even account for the times when you head back to the kitchen to grab seconds!

Different Ways to View the Annual Thanksgiving Meal

When you look at the 3,100 calories that the average American eats at Thanksgiving, that figure can translate into some incredible comparisons. 

Here are some equivalent dishes and food products to consider that would create a similar caloric intake.

  • Six Big Macs from McDonald’s.
  • Ten Caesar salads ordered at Panera.
  • A dozen vanilla ice cream servings from Haagen-Dazs.
  • Fourteen strawberry-iced doughnuts from Krispy Kreme.

If you weigh 160 pounds, it will take 30 miles of walking to burn off that 3,100-calorie meal from Thanksgiving. As an alternative, you could put in about five hours of swimming.

Since the feast includes high-fat products, Thanksgiving is also when hospitals get overrun with gallbladder problems and stomach issues. You can plan ahead by targeting low-fat alternatives and lighter meals in the days after the holiday to support your physical health.

Some people starve themselves on Thanksgiving to “make room” for the meal. It’s better to eat a low-fat, high-protein item at the start of t

J&J Recalls 5 Sunscreens Over Carcinogenic Ingredients

Johnson & Johnson announced in July that it recalled five aerosol sunscreen products. The reason behind this effort involves samples that contained low benzene levels.

Benzene is a chemical that is a known carcinogen. It’s linked to several blood cancers, such as leukemia. 

The recall from J&J involves four Neutrogena products.

  • Beach Defense
  • Cool Dry Sport
  • Invisible Daily Defense
  • Ultra Sheer

Aveeno Protect and Refresh sunscreen is the fifth item on the list. Although the healthcare giant stated that using the products wouldn’t be expected to cause adverse effects, the voluntary recall was happening to be cautious.

As an alternative, you can consider products from brands like Wondercide or MyChelle Dermaceuticals.

Benzene Isn’t Part of the Manufacturing Process

Since benzene isn’t directly added to these sunscreens and sunblocks, Johnson & Johnson immediately evaluated its supply chain after the testing results returned. That process included looking at the raw materials that go into its products.

The investigation into how benzene got into the five products is still ongoing. 

If you’re using a cream from one of those brands, the item is not on the recall list. It only applies to the aerosol containers.

You can find benzene in gasoline. It’s also used as a solvent for waxes and rubber. It’s a highly flammable product that can cause several cancers with repeated and long-term exposure.

Its effects vary based on how it enters the body. You can ingest or inhale it, but the skin can also absorb it. People experience dizziness and an irregular heartbeat most often.

If you have any of the products on the recall list, you’re encouraged to throw the items away. You can call 1 (800) 458-1673 to request a full refund. 

100 Years of Communist Party Leadership Celebrated in China

Although the Chinese Communist Party hasn’t been in charge of the country for a century, it has been in existence for that time. As it celebrates its centenary in 2021, China’s leadership has plenty of statistics that promote its benefits.

In June, Xi Jinping delivered a speech that said China would not have achieved its current power and prosperity without struggles against domestic exploitation and foreign aggression. 

Although the government likes to whitewash history, especially Mao’s cultural revolution, the staging does try to focus on a future image that seems secure and confident.

No Military Parades Were Part of the Celebration

Whether it was to conserve resources or avoid another 1989 Tiananmen Square incident, no military parades were held to commemorate 100 years of party existence.

Instead of a show of force, China used a military flyover while offering a 100-gun salute.

The celebration organizers carefully picked who would get to sit to listen to Xi’s speech. It was primarily workers, students, and party members, all considered loyalists to the cause. 

The Chinese Communist Party has been the sole governing ruler of the government since 1949.

Several celebrations coincided with the event, including one in Hong Kong commemorating the 24th anniversary of Great Britain handing over the colony back to China. A police officer was stabbed in a suicide attack, with officials warning people that laying flowers where the suspect died could result in a terrorism charge. 

The ceremony ended with a couple of performances. Nine commemorative coins from the People’s Bank of China were produced to remember the day.